What Does Bore You to Death Mean?

Bore Someone to Death Meaning

Definition: Make someone weary through dull talk or boring action.

To be bored to death means you have completely lost interest in what someone is saying or doing. It is beyond just being bored; it’s the maximum level of boredom that you can reach, marked by daydreaming and glazed eyes. You could not be less interested if you were dead.

This is an informal, jocular expression used by all ages in British and American English. It is more commonly spoken than written, as it is not the most polite way to express boredom.

Origin of Bore Someone to Death

meaning of bore you to deathThe word bore has been used as a verb since the mid-18th century, meaning to cause ennui or annoyance. We can see this by 1738 when Voltaire wrote in his Sept Discourse en Vers sur l’Homme:

  • The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.

It may have come from the idea that boring somebody is akin to moving forward slowly and persistently—like a boring tool moves as it bores a hole in a dense material.

Examples of Bore Someone to Death

bored me to death definitionIn the modern day, it is common to say you are bored to death if someone or something is incredibly uninteresting.

Two friends might discuss a college class in the following way,

Mike: Did you like that class?

Joe: No. Today’s lecture bored me to death.

Mike: Okay, so it wasn’t just me? It was so bored that I almost fell asleep.

Joe: I agree. I hope the entire semester isn’t like this because it will be difficult to pay attention and get a good grade.

Two coworkers might discuss a colleague in the following way,

Rachel: Who is running the meeting today?

Stu: I think Greg is running it.

Rachel: Really? Greg? He is such a dull person; he bores everyone to death when he talks.

Stu: Yeah, it doesn’t seem like this idea was thought out very well.

More Examples

  • “Retirement bored me to death,” White says. “You know, you run out of something to do.” –The Southwest Times
  • When I was young, I wrote stories and poems because completing German verb tables bored me to death. I’m not a German speaker now, but I am a writer.” –Herald Scotland


The phrase to bore someone to death means to make something so dull that the person completely loses interest in the topic or event.